Date of Birth : July 1, 1925

Place of birth : Kerala

Last Rank : Commander

Arm/Regt : Indian Navy

Operation : Indo-Pak War 1971

Awards : Vir Chakra

Martyrdom : December 9, 1971

Cdr M Ommen VrC

Cdr Mukadavil Ommen hailed from the state of Kerala and was born on 01st Jul 1925.  After passing his intermediate examination, he joined the Navy and was commissioned into the Royal Indian Navy. He got trained as an Engineering Officer and worked on various types of ships of Indian Navy. By the year 1971, he had put in substantial years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Commander. 


Indian Naval Operations (Indo-Pak War): 09 Dec 1971


When the Indo-Pak War of 1971 broke out, Cdr M Ommen was serving as an Engineering Officer aboard INS Khukri, a Blackwood-class frigate of Indian Navy.  It was part of the 14th Frigate Squadron of the Western Fleet, consisting of five ships with other four ships being INS Kirpan, INS Kalveti, INS Krishna and INS Kuthar.  The 14th Frigate Squadron had the responsibility of hunting and neutralizing enemy submarines in the North Arabian Sea. The Indian Naval radio detection equipment identified a submarine in the vicinity of Diu harbour on 03rd Dec 1971. Unfortunately, one of the flotilla’s ships INS Kuthar developed a problem and on around 05 December, it was escorted back to harbour. Unfortunately, one of the flotilla’s ships INS Kuthar developed a problem and on around 05 December, it was escorted back to harbour. Naval Headquarters ordered the Western Fleet to hunt and destroy the enemy submarine detected in Indian waters near Diu. This order was passed on to the commander of the F-14 Squadron, Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla. The squadron was, however, now reduced to two anti-submarine frigates, INS Kuthar not being available.


The two anti-submarine frigates left Bombay for their mission on 08 December and by the morning of 09 December were approaching the reported location of the enemy submarine. This was the ‘Hunter-Killer Force’ according to the TAS (Torpedo and Anti-Submarine specialists) of Western Naval Command. In the late evening of 9th December, INS Khukri was attacked by the Pakistani submarine PNS Hangoor which fired torpedoes at it, causing devastating damage. What made the Indian vessel an easy target for enemy torpedoes was the presence of experimental sonar equipment aboard that had been specially deployed for research. The limitations placed by this equipment had drastically slowed down the movement of INS Khukri to the submarine-detectable speed of 12 knots.  Also, INS Khukri‘s sonar set had a detection range up to 3,000 yards, whereas PNS Hangor could fire from distances of nearly six kilometers.


The captain of INS Khukri, Capt Mahendra Nath Mulla evaluated the situation within minutes and issued orders for its abandonment. There were two massive explosions inside the Khukri and the ship went dark. It lost all power and began to tilt steeply to its right (Starboard) as chaos followed the order of ‘abandon ship’. On realizing the danger to his men, Cdr M Ommen went below the deck to get his men to safety. In the meantime, the ship was hit by another torpedo. Despite the fact that the chances of his survival were getting less every second, he continued to help his men to safety. INS Khukri sank within minutes, taking 176 sailors and 18 officers, and the ship’s captain, to their watery graves in the Arabian Sea. During the last minutes of his life, Cdr M Ommen showed extraordinary courage, helping save as many of his men as he could and not abandoning his vessel. A total of 67 men could be saved, which included 05 officers, 01 midshipman and 61 other crew members.


Cdr M Ommen was given the nation’s third highest gallantry award, “Vir Chakra”, posthumously for his outstanding courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice. 

  • If you find any information that is incorrect or inappropriate or have additional information about the soldier that can be added to his memorial site, please contact us by using the tab given below.
No Comments

Post a Comment